Selecting the right kind of hospice care in Los Angeles for a loved one who needs assistive care can be tough in more ways than one. Ensuring an organization offers affordable services and doesn’t have a reputation for neglecting its patients comes much later.
Heart breaking as it might be, determining the nature of care your loved one requires comes before searching and researching facilities. On one end of the scale, you have nursing homes; on the other, you have hospice care at home. It’s important not to confuse the latter with the former and assume it’s just nursing home care provided at home.
Keep reading this Hospice Home Care blog for a closer look at hospice and nursing homes and why the two couldn’t be more different.
What are Nursing Facilities?
Nursing and assisted care facilities in Los Angeles fall under the broader category of long-term care, which every American requires at some point in life. According to a Genworth survey, 7 out of 10 people need long-term assistance. Moreover, approximately 70% of the people at nursing homes and assisted care facilities are 65 or above.
By the above statistics, you’d be right to assume that nursing facilities provide long-term care to older adults outside a hospital setting. However, unlike other assisted living facilities, nursing homes blend custodial care services, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding, with medical care services.
Nursing facilities have medical professionals like physicians, physical therapists, registered nurses, and 24-hour staff to carry out emergency medical procedures that wouldn’t be possible at any other long-term care facility.
The decision to move into a nursing home is more often than not gradual. While it’s possible to move a senior to a nursing facility after a traumatic injury has limited their movement, it’s just as likely to move a senior from a different facility to a nursing home in Los Angeles if they require more proactive care.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care in Los Angeles focuses on quality of life for people in the advanced stage of a life-limiting or terminal illness and their caregivers. It prioritizes the comfort of the care receiver and giver above all else, treating symptoms of the condition rather than the terminal condition itself.
Hospice care in Los Angeles is somewhat similar to palliative care in Los Angeles in that it focuses on relieving the symptoms and pain that people with a serious illness often feel. Both care services have an interdisciplinary team working to address the physical, mental, emotional, and, in some cases, spiritual needs of the caregiver and receiver. However, that’s where their similarities end.
Los Angeles hospice care is delivered through the primary caregiver, usually a family member. It’s usually their decision to start hospice care and make decisions on behalf of their ailing loved one.
Once a Los Angeles hospice care provider begins, an interdisciplinary staff visits regularly and provides 24/7 services to the patient. This staff could include professionals such as:
The Los Angeles hospice care team is responsible for communicating with the professionals mentioned above and developing a care plan for pain management and symptom relief according to the patient’s condition.
Levels of Los Angeles Hospice Care Provided by The Team
Los Angeles hospice care intensifies as the patient enters the advanced stages of their illness. Generally divided into four levels, patients might start at any of the following depending on the care they require in the form of medication, equipment, technology, and an interdepartmental team of medical professionals.
RHC constituted 98.3% of all hospice care in 2019 and is the most commonly used hospice care. It’s generally provided at home and controls and relieves symptoms like nausea, pain, and reflux in stable patients.
CHC is a short-term care plan administered in a home setting. It involves the management of out-of-control and unforeseen symptoms, pain, or side effects. This short-term level of care could last 8–24 hours and involves the primary caregiver, hospice aides, and nursing staff. If the symptoms or pain don’t subside within a day of occurring, the staff might start General Inpatient Care (GIP).
GIP is similar to CHC, except it’s provided at a medical facility. Possible settings for this care plan include hospitals that accept Medicare insurance, hospice facilities, or nursing facilities with registered nurses on their staff.
IRC is similar to RHC, except it’s provided at a medical facility to relieve the primary caregiver from their responsibilities temporarily. Ideal settings for IRC include long-term assisted facilities, hospice facilities, medical institutions, and anywhere with 24/7 medical staff. Unlike other levels, IRC is started because of the caregiver rather than the patient.
Los Angeles Hospice Care vs. Los Angeles Nursing Homes: How Are They Different?
As mentioned, hospice in Los Angeles County and nursing homes are on two entirely different ends of the scale. They might range into different types and fall under broader categories, but even then, they’re as different as night and day. By the time we’re done discussing their differences, you’ll know precisely what your ailing relative needs.
Nursing homes aren’t just a service; they’re a physical location, a setting where a senior citizen is provided a set of custodial and medical services. On the other hand, hospice in Los Angeles is primarily a service that is offered anywhere in the county — even in a nursing home. However, most caregivers prefer to recruit hospice care somewhere they or their ailing relative might call “home.”
Older adults move into nursing homes for long-term assistance. While females stay far longer than males, most move to these facilities for years instead of months. Since hospice care is limited to those at the last stage of an illness, they naturally require short-term care.
The care at nursing homes is only considered advanced in the context of long-term care. It may or may not encompass the care a patient requires when diagnosed with a terminal illness. Conversely, hospice care provides staff trained in the care and comfort of terminally ill patients who’ve given up on treatment or exhausted all treatment options and want to focus on the quality of their remaining life through adequate care and support. They might make this call on their own or have a next of kin make this decision for them.
Although medical services are a part of nursing homes, they don’t come with instructions for the patient and their family. Hospice care teams not only consider the patient’s next of kin in their care plan but also assist them and the patient through the emotional, social, and psychological process of dying.
Unlike nursing homes, hospice care includes instructions for the caregiver(s) on how to take care of the patient. Nursing homes don’t have this aspect because they provide services in a fully-equipped facility, unlike hospice, wherever you or the patient considers home.
Nursing homes provide a blend of custodial and medical care in a facility, whereas hospice provides care and support at home. However, the latter can just as easily revert to inpatient care, taking over from the caregiver when they need respite or when the patient’s symptoms become too difficult to manage in a home setting.
A patient may transition from a nursing home to home care for hospice patients in Los Angeles County but never the other way around. For instance, a person with Alzheimer’s might stay at a nursing home during the early stages, but they might have to transition to hospice care during the advanced stages on their doctor’s recommendation.
Nursing home services are divided into the following broad categories:
While the above services start and end with the patient, hospice care in Los Angeles County starts with the patient and their family and ends with adequate support for the family. Services included in a hospice care plan include:
Medicare doesn’t cover long-term stays at nursing homes, but it does cover hospice care but with certain co-payments for medication and respite care should the caregiver need it. A patient qualifies for Medicare if they have:
The above criteria also apply to patients with Medicaid and private insurance. Thus, if your loved one is currently under the care of a nursing home, you can revert or add hospice care to their care plan through their health insurance.
Reach Out to Hospice Home Care for Palliative Care and Los Angeles Hospice Care
If you have a loved one who’s given up on treatment or needs more care than is provided at their nursing home, you can make their final days as comfortable and painless as possible through in-home hospice care at Hospice Home Care. Make end-of-life, hospice in Los Angeles, and palliative care in Southern California feel less bleak than they are through our caring hospice services.
Providing physical comfort at the end of a person’s life.
Managing mental and emotional needs at the end of a person’s life.
Supporting spiritual needs at the end of a person’s life.
Practical task support.
The importance of knowing what to say or do the end of a person’s life makes all the difference in the world. You don’t want to wonder what to do at the end of a person’s life. You want to be prepared. Each person’s experience at the end of their life is different. Adults that are older can experience cognitive decline in function while remaining physically fit. There are also adults that have a sharp mind while experiencing a decline in physical functioning. This article will provide you with the necessary tools to make sure the end-of-life care is taken in a way that provides the best experience for your loved one during their last days.
The team assembled for a person who is dying makes all the difference in the world when they are nearing the end of their life. This article provides examples on how you can best provide comfort and care towards the end of life while a person is nearing their last days. All the examples if implemented should first be done with the loving care and consideration of checking with the patient’s health care team so the most appropriate and effective approach is implemented.
End-of-life care. What is it?
People that have aged often have one or more chronic illness and may need assistance and care for an extended period of time before they take their last breath and their heart stops beating. End-of-life care is the term used to describe the medical care and support given during the time just described.
Here we will cover the steps you can take to make sure your loved one dies with respect and peace while making certain their end-of-life wishes are fulfilled. It's common for some people die quietly without anyone being in the room. Its also common for some to pass away while having friends and family in the room. The preference of a loved one to desire to live out their last days in a facility or at home will suggest you take an approach that is unique and comforting to their situation.
The family of the dying person is not to be overlooked. The family has very specific needs both emotionally and practically. The end-of-life care provider has a responsibility to prepare the family members. Practical tasks, spiritual needs, mental and emotional needs, and physical comfort are the four areas a dying person needs help with from family, friends and their end-of-life care provider.